The WAS Hustle is an annual event where individuals can sign up to cover mileage while raising money in support of adaptive recreation. Participants set their mileage and fundraising goals and have a little over a month to achieve them. Each year, different participants shine through as strong fundraisers and high mileage achievers. Tania, Camron, and Hunter have been crushing their fundraising and mileage goals.
Tania Bashford, who completed the Hustle last year, raised $800 and this year, she’s taken it to another level, hoping to raise $2,000! She started volunteering with WAS at cycling programs in 2021 desiring to work with individuals with disabilities. Tania had worked with individuals with intellectual disabilities for her job and saw how her patients grew in their confidence through cycling programs. She was looking for a way to continue helping more people have those experiences when she found WAS.
Through volunteering, she heard about the Hustle and thought that it would be a great way to challenge herself and further provide opportunities for adaptive recreation. Tania shared that the reason she wanted to participate was because, “Sport across the board is a confidence builder, it’s a social activity. Rarely are you unhappy when you’re out riding a bike or stand up paddle boarding. I think accessibility to those things for everyone is really important for mental health and well-being.”
To achieve her fundraising goals, she posted about her challenge on Facebook and sent text messages to her friends and family. She’s aiming to cover 500 miles by riding her bike, walking, swimming, and even completing an adventure race where she’ll be trekking, biking, and paddling in Colorado.
“It’s really good to challenge yourself, and even if you don’t want to fundraise, you can challenge yourself through the mileage. It’s pretty easy to share and get a few donations through your social page and through texting others. It really appeals to those who like to track their exercise.”
Tania hopes that the money she raises goes back towards these programs, experiences, and the equipment used.
Camron Gabler, another Hustle participant and WAS volunteer, agrees that the equipment used for adaptive recreation is a huge need. Bikes, skis, and adaptive paddling equipment can cost a lot of money. Having access to adaptive equipment helps him and others cycle, ski, and paddle board.
Camron Gabler is a former student who started volunteering for WAS this past year. He signed up for the Hustle for the first time to challenge himself physically and socially, then recruited his family and friends to participate with him.
For his Hustle goal, he’s completing 1 mile for every $10 he raises. Right now, he’s raised $1,850 so far, so he has to cover 185 miles! His family gets together once a week to do an activity that covers mileage. They’ve hiked at Donut Falls, paddled on Deer Creek Reservoir, and plan on doing a bike ride. As a team, they’re aiming to raise $5,000, a high goal that is a bit easier to achieve when you have competitive siblings. Camron and his brother are currently neck and neck to be the highest fundraiser, which has high stakes because the top fundraiser will win a Traeger grill!
Completing the Hustle has been a way for Camron to get out of his comfort zone by posting on social media and reaching out to businesses for support. He’s never posted on social media as much as he has during the Hustle. Almost 80% of his donations have come in through his social media posts and he admits that it has been nerve-wracking to share about it. He’s also reached out to different companies and has raised over $1,000 through soliciting support that way.
For Camron, skiing and cycling have both played an important role for his self-confidence and self-esteem. He enjoys participating with his family as he builds his strength and skills. “It’s helped me overcome my own disabilities by showing me what I can do and that I’m not defined by the limitations that I have,” said Camron. He hopes to help encourage physical activity in the community and raise awareness about adaptive sports.
While fundraising can be intimidating and challenging, Hunter Dunn is taking on the physical challenge by aiming to cover 1,000 miles by himself. “It’s the perfect opportunity to push myself and raise some money for a good cause.” Hunter shared. “The fundraising aspect really holds me accountable for actually getting to 1000 miles (maybe beyond). I’ve really enjoyed volunteering with WAS over the last year, and going for a big goal just seemed like a natural next step.”
Having completed 755 miles so far, Hunter hopes to win the highest mileage prize which is Goal Zero solar charging kit. He also hopes to be in the top 5 for fundraising. “I’m on track to meet both of these, and couldn’t be happier!” He’s using the Hustle as an opportunity to increase his fitness as he trains for a 100-mile mountain bike ride this fall.
“I’ll be the first to admit that this has been a ‘type 2 fun’ endeavor, and I’m ready for it to be over with.” He found a route that helps him get in the miles fast via the Jordan River Trail on a route that’s exactly 40 miles with minimal elevation gain. He gets an early start and has been able to do this same route 5-6 times a week.
“I think WAS meant for this to be a fun challenge, but I decided to go another route and really push myself. While I may not be enjoying 5 am wake-ups, I know that I will look back on this fondly once it’s all over!”
The WAS Hustle happens annually every summer with a mileage and fundraising goal. Like Tania, Camron, and Hunter all shared, it’s an excellent opportunity to challenge yourself while raising support for a good cause. Visit the WAS Hustle event site and follow along on WAS’s Instagram and Facebook to see if each of these participants will reach their goals. If you’re interested in helping Tania, Camron, and Hunter reach their fundraising goals, you can find their fundraising pages on the event site.